Talking to your doctor about cannabis can be very important. Whether you are looking to obtain a prescription for medical cannabis, want to try cannabis to relieve your symptoms, or simply have questions about weed; it can be reassuring to get medical advice from an expert. In this blog, you’ll find tips to prepare for a talk with your doctor about cannabis, giving you the tools for a fruitful conversation.
Why Discuss Cannabis With Your Doctor?
There are plenty of reasons to discuss cannabis with a doctor. People increasingly turn to cannabis to treat a wide range of symptoms and medical conditions. They benefit from its soothing, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Still talking about cannabis with your doctor is important, even if you’re just using it recreationally. It can be a factor in diagnostics and treatment.
Perhaps you’re just wondering whether smoking a joint could interfere with your current medication. Or you may want to know if your cannabis preferences can go hand in hand with a specific treatment. Don’t just consult your doctor on cannabis from a personal medical perspective; you’re also encouraging medical professionals to educate themselves on the effects of marijuana in general.
When Will A Doctor Prescribe Cannabis?
In many European and North and South American countries, the use of weed and its active components (such as THC, CBD, and CBG) is on the rise. Moreover, cannabis has been used around the world for centuries to treat a range of conditions and symptoms. Still, most doctors are not keen to prescribe cannabis as medicine; even in relatively tolerant countries such as the Netherlands. A doctor is most likely to suggest medical cannabis as a treatment for:
- MS (multiple sclerosis);
- Nausea and vomiting due to treatment of cancer, hepatitis C, or HIV;
- Muscle spasms caused by spinal injuries;
- Chronic pain;
- Nervous tics (as in Tourette’s, for instance);
- Nerve pain;
- Palliative care;
Even if this seems an impressive list, a doctor is not likely to prescribe cannabis t all. The current perspective favours only opting for weed after other treatments prove ineffective, or if the side-effects are too severe. Of course, there are plenty f reasons why anyone would prefer using cannabis for their symptoms. The easiest option is usually to make sure you are well-informed and pick your own cannabis – by paying for it yourself. If you do want to get a prescription for medical cannabis, however, you will need to talk about it with your doctor.
Sometimes, Patients Are The Experts
Doctors are professional experts. They go through years of medical training before they can use their knowledge to help others. Still, in spite of their education, most doctors lack basic knowledge about natural alternatives such as marijuana. Even if a doctor receives basic training on medical cannabis, most either lack in-depth knowledge, or allow bias to guide them.
If we want to improve the image of cannabis as a useful and effective treatment option, we need to change this state of affairs. Talking to your doctor about how you (intend to) benefit from cannabis for your condition could contribute to changing the position of doctors on medical cannabis.
In case you’re hesitant to discuss the subject with your doctor, remember that you are likely to be the expert here. Chances are, as a patient, you know more about the potential of weed and the compounds found in cannabis than your doctor does. The average doctor’s curriculum does not even over the endocannabinoid system, for instance. If you have basic knowledge on cannabinoids and terpenes, you’re in a good position to enlighten your doctor on how cannabis could help you. By using the tips below, you can prepare yourself for that cannabis talk with your doctor. Although we assume you are working from the perspective of using cannabis as medicine, they can be equally helpful if you are simply curious about weed and health in general.
Getting Your Facts Straight
No matter whether you are already familiar with weed or intend to try it in the future, make sure you know enough about the properties and effectiveness of cannabis. Explore the world of cannabinoids and terpenes, focusing on scientific studies providing evidence for the potential merits of these compounds for what ails you. It’s the best way to show your doctor that you are serious, but moreover, you’re likely to give them new cannabis insights while you’re at it.
Emphasise that many people benefit from using marijuana for your symptoms. If you are already using cannabis, be sure to explain how and why it helps you. Your personal experience may help your doctor see how cannabis can be genuinely effective as a treatment for certain conditions. It can contribute to real change in the wider medical community.
Preferring Natural Alternatives
As mentioned above, your doctor is not likely to prescribe cannabis until all else fails. If his is the case for you, you’ve probably tried various types of prescription drugs. You may find that your doctor is open for trying medical cannabis. If, on the other hand, they suggest you try other medication first, you are free to indicate your preference for trying natural alternatives such as cannabis. Weed has the benefit of being unlikely to produce the severe side-effects often associated with regular medication. And know that if your doctor still objects to the use of cannabis, yu’re always entitled to a second opinion.
Which Cannabis Strains Work Best?
If you are already using cannabis to relieve your symptoms, you’ve probably tried different strains to find out which ones work best for you. If you’re not sure, though, t helps get some basic education on the various cannabinoids and terpenes found in weed, your own body’s endocannabinoid system, and the entourage effect.
THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid produced by the plant. It has properties that can he effective against negative moods as well as against pain, inflammation, nausea, and more. Apart from THC, though, new discoveries about the potential of hundreds of other cannabinoids are being published all the time.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties as well as soothing effects. Cannabis contains many other cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN, and THCV, to name but a few. It can be very helpful to learn more about the specific effects these active ingredients produce. Every individual cannabis strain has its own unique cannabinoid profile. The percentages of these profiles, along with the terpene profile responsible for the taste and scent, determine the specific medicinal potential of marijuana variants.
If you prefer not to get high, your best option is to go for a strain with higher CBD percentages. CBD can ameliorate the effects of THC, and it comes with its own substantial medicinal potential. Microdosing cannabis is also an option. This allows you to benefit from all the active compounds found in cannabis (including THC) while keeping the dosage low enough to avoid most psychoactive effects.
Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands
Hopefully, your doctor will show an open-minded attitude towards cannabis. If they don’t, however, know that you’re free to get a second opinion. Consulting another doctor may get you a more nuanced opinion. Taking your health into your own hands is important. Always try to find treatments that fit your personal needs. There’s always the option to grow your own cannabis or to visit a dispensary if laws permit, but even then, it is better if your doctor knows what you’re doing. And if cannabis is not an option after all, then you could try CBD Oil as an alternative. A Full Spectrum CBD supplement will get you all the compounds found in cannabis, except for THC in noticeable quantities.
Growing Or Buying Your Own Medical Marijuana
If you can’t find a doctor willing to listen to your cannabis questions and plans, you still have the options of growing or buying your own cannabis at your disposal. If you decide to go down that road, be aware that local regulations may prevent you from doing so. If the law is no objection where you live, you’ll still have to make sure you pick the right cannabis strain. Some variants are highly suited for pain relief, while others are more effective for psychological and emotional phenomena, for example.
Quality dispensaries will have staff willing and able to inform you on all the pros and cons of particular strains for specific symptoms. Even so, you should go slowly and try small quantities to experience the effects in controlled circumstances. Tip: keep pen and paper handy, or use your phone to take notes. You may find that you can’t recall all the details, which would send you right back to the drawing board.
Patient And Doctor Cannabis Information
Growing your own medical cannabis could prove to be easier than trying to convince your doctor. Here, too, picking the right seeds to grow your own medicinal marijuana is essential. So is getting the best information. Our blogs and strain descriptions give growers the information you need to make the right choice. Our Grow Blogs take an in-depth look at the technical aspects of growing cannabis.
Our website contains useful information on the potential of cannabis in case of:
- (Chronic) pain;
- Low mood and depression;
- Cramps and muscle spasms;
- Anxiety disorders;
- And much more besides.
Always remember that cannabis is no miracle cure. Certain psychiatric conditions, for instance, demand extreme caution around cannabis or avoiding it altogether. Moreover, effects can vary from one person to the next, so don’t act upon the opinions and experience of others. Also, don’t believe everything you find about cannabis online. Only trust reliable sources that substantiate their claims with scientific evidence. It’s your best way to maintain the kind of critical perspective on cannabis that will benefit yourself and your doctor.
More info on growing medical marijuana
Meanwhile, science is making steady progress, so we will keep on blogging about the medical potential of marijuana. This will make medical cannabis a more viable, more accessible, and more accepted option – for you, for others, and for your doctor!